Report: Cardinals to sign CFL punter Richie Leone
The Arizona Cardinals used three different punters in 2016, with Matt Wile getting the nod for the final three games.
Now, however, it appears they may be looking into another option.
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) January 3, 2017
Came down to Cardinals and Eagles for Richie Leone. He cancelled tryout in K.C today because of flu. Signs with Arizona #BCLions .
— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) January 3, 2017
Leone, 24, spent the last two seasons with the Lions, for whom he punted 216 times with an average of 49.4 yards per kick and a net average of 39.11. He was also the team’s kicker, converting on 65-of-90 field goal attempts.
Leone played his college football for the University of Houston Cougars. In 2013 he was a FWAA Second team All-American as well as a Ray Guy Award semifinalist. He went undrafted in 2014 before signing with the Baltimore Ravens. He appeared in three preseason games before being waived in late August.
In Jan. 2015, Leone signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was released on May.
This past season for the Cardinals, Wile avearaged 43.7 yards per kick, with a net of 37.5 yards, while Drew Butler posted averages of 42.2 and 35.6, respectively. Ryan Quigley averaged 41.6 yards per kick, with a net of 37.2.
Even if the Cardinals do bring Leone in, that does not necessarily mean Wile is out. On Monday, while cleaning out his locker, Wile said he would keep working and assume he would be back, as he is under contract for 2017.
“They just want me to come in and work and I’m just going to go in like I have to earn the job every day,” he said. “That’s kind of the plan, and head back to train with some guys back in San Diego this offseason. I’m just excited for next season.”